Nuclear security top of the agenda for world leaders

PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 April 2016

The reactor dome of Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station

The reactor dome of Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station


Prime Minister David Cameron has emphasised the importance of state-of-the-art security at nuclear plants like Sizewell B with a warning that terrorists would “like to kill as many people as they possibly could”.

As world leaders gathered to discuss security of nuclear facilities amid fears Islamic State jihadists could attempt to create a dirty bomb, he said terrorists will use “whatever materials they can get their hands on”.

At the Nuclear Security Summit, which concluded in Washington yesterday with a “scenario-based session” focusing on the “threat from nuclear terrorism”, Britain offered its expertise to other countries to safeguard their own civil nuclear installations.

Security at Sizewell B – where EDF Energy say its highest priority is the safety and security of the public, its staff, buildings and installations – was tested only a few months ago with a mock terrorist attack that was described as “credible, challenging and well-planned”.

This week the complex completed work on a new £200million facility to store spent radioactive waste – the first in the UK.

Mr Cameron said “We know that the terrorists we face today would like to kill as many people as they possibly could, using whatever materials they can get their hands on.

“So obviously the security of nuclear materials, for those countries that have nuclear programmes, is incredibly important and that’s why this conference like previous conferences will make sure that we have proper security for those materials, not just in Britain – we are quite a global leader in this – but also all over the world.

“So it’s a very important subject, there will be very important actions announced at this conference, and it’s about making sure our world is safe and secure and we are not at risk from terrorists coming together with nuclear materials.”

The attacks in Brussels have raised fresh concerns about the prospect of nuclear terrorism.

Belgian media reported two of the suicide bombers in the attacks had video footage of the home of a senior official at a Flanders nuclear waste facility.

EDF said: “In order to maintain the highest standards of security, we do not discuss operational details, but like all civil nuclear facilities in the UK, we have detailed security arrangements in place.”

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